July, 2010 saw the discovery of a worm known as Stuxnet, which sought out a particular version of the Siemens’ SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems that control power grids and industrial plants. Stuxnet was capable of taking over SCADA controls in order to deliver a kinetic attack by causing critical systems to physically malfunction. The systems infected weren’t randomly targeted: a majority are in Iran.
A highly sophisticated computer worm that has spread through Iran, Indonesia and India was built to destroy operations at one target: possibly Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor. That’s the emerging consensus of security experts who have examined the Stuxnet worm.
Stuxnet infects Windows systems in its search for industrial control systems, often generically (but incorrectly) known as SCADA systems. Industrial control systems consist of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), which can be thought of as mini-computers that can be programmed from a Windows system. These PLCs contain special code that controls the automation of industrial processes—for instance, to control machinery in a plant or a factory. Programmers use software (e.g., on a Windows PC) to create code and then upload their code to the PLCs.
Previously, we reported that Stuxnet can steal code and design projects and also hide itself using a classic Windows rootkit, but unfortunately it can also do much more. Stuxnet has the ability to take advantage of the programming software to also upload its own code to the PLC in an industrial control system that is typically monitored by SCADA systems. In addition, Stuxnet then hides these code blocks, so when a programmer using an infected machine tries to view all of the code blocks on a PLC, they will not see the code injected by Stuxnet. Thus, Stuxnet isn’t just a rootkit that hides itself on Windows, but is the first publicly known rootkit that is able to hide injected code located on a PLC
Cyberwar attacking infrastructure has been speculated for many years and now it appears to be ramping up. This would mean that not just nuclear power plants but hydro dams, electrical grid, fossil fuel facilities, pipelines, factories, medical facilities, water treatment and other industrial systems could all be targeted.
It may not just be against Iran, USA, Israel but a lot of countries will use and be targets of Cyberwar.
Stopping a regular hacker or a social attack of an employee with a USB stick is one thing. But a nationstate can use spies, special ops, UAVs etc…
UAVs with manipulator arms are getting very capable and are not that expensive.
Russia used cyberwar to soften up Estonia in 2007 and against Georgia in 2008.
Russia was hit with bombing attempts on a hydro plant
Stuxnet on wikipedia
Siemens support site discussing Stuxnet
North Korean Leader May Already be Dead and his Double has taken his place
At the World Economic Forum’s “summer Davos”, held in the Chinese city of Tianjin last week, Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Waseda University in Japan and a self proclaimed “expert” on North Korea, insisted that the present Kim Jong il is in fact a double. There is no question of it, he says, for he has irrefutable proof of the fact.
It’s not just that there has been no recent photograph of the dear leader; computer analysis of his voice shows the present Kim Jong not to be the same man as the one of some years ago. “I’m willing to accept that his son is about to become leader, but who exactly is he succeeding?”, asked Professor Shigemura.
Professor Chung-il accepted that who ever the leader really was, it was largely academic, since he [double or real Kim] was in effect only the puppet of the military.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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